PetFitness Blog – Pet Exercise, Workouts & Fitness Tips for Dogs

Help! My Dog Won’t Exercise

Is your dog stubborn when it comes to exercise? Do they ignore your invitation to play? Is there any health issue dissuading your dog from going on a walk with you? Maybe they don’t like going out and are fearful of people or animals outside?

A stubborn dog is a challenge for any pet parent. Some dog breeds are known to have an independent nature. This often makes them stubborn, and they resist when you want to take them to the park, for a walk, or train. Also, physical condition, age, distractions, lack of motivation, and a variety of factors come into play when your dog becomes difficult to train.

Stubbornness in your dog is an issue both for you and the dog. While it impacts your relationship, it also spells troubles for the health of your dog. Unable to do exercise, dogs become obese, face health issues, fail to get adequate mental stimulation, lack adequate socialization, and become more prone to anxiety. Your stubborn dog may also exhibit behavioral problems and develop a negative character.


Reasons Why Your Dog Won’t Exercise

Dogs fail to follow your exercise plan when they remain distracted or inattentive. They may be expecting something else while you want them to play with you in the yard. When your dog is stressed, he is unable to understand and follow you. Stress shuts down the brain and dogs can’t think straight. You may see a friendly dog turning into a stubborn dog due to stress. As the dog is not wholeheartedly ready to play with you, your call for working out fails to evoke any response.

Have you ever tried to make your dog understand what you really want from them? If dogs are unable to understand your expectations, their refusal to obey you is more than likely. Similarly, the multiplicity of commands can confuse your dog, making them disinterested in exercise. When it comes to humans, motivation is key to good training, and this is true for dogs too. Make sure to always try verbal praise or treats in order to motivate your dog to work out with you.

Dogs such as rottweilers and dachshunds look for their owner’s strong leadership. If you lack leadership qualities and fail to provide clear-cut or consistent guidance, these dogs tend to ignore your training protocol. If your dog is afraid of you, it’ll make them disinterested in exercise.

Physical and age-related constraints, including pain, disability, energy level, and eyesight problems, may also impact your dog’s willingness to exercise.


Tips to Get Your Dog to Exercise

    • Appeal to your dog’s working instincts. Challenge dogs while playing with them. Hide a toy or wrap it in a towel and let your dog find it. If your dog enjoys this kind of play, you can take them to a nearby park for more fun activities and help them develop an interesting playing. Once your dog finds the exercise time enjoyable, the stubbornness will fade away.
    • Start slow and add on extra minutes gradually as your dog adjusts to the level of activity. Monitor your pet’s comfort level, age, and health while planning their exercise routine. Make sure instructions are clear to your dog and there is no room for confusion.
    • Treat aches and pains in your dog as soon as you detect them. A physically weak dog may find exercise stressful or painful causing them to avoid exercise. Be mindful of your pet’s tolerance level and never push them too hard. Immediately consult a vet if your dog is limping or is low on energy soon after playing with you.
    • Avoid exercising your dog when it’s too hot or cold. Shun physical activity after meals, as this may cause bloating in your dog. Go for exercise when your dog has a good level of energy and remains motivated.
    • Use your garden area or even the living room for moderate activity with your dog to motivate them. Treats can also be a good way alongside physical affection to ensure your dog responds to your call for exercise.


We hope this post was useful, and that your dog will be hoofing up a bowl of wholesome goodness in no time!


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